Do you believe these four myths about delaying marriage?

August 6, 2014

June has passed, and the wedding explosion on your social media is finally decreasing. I’m part of the trend—my husband and I just celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary during June — which The National Center for Health Statistics reports is the most popular month for weddings.

However, there’s another growing statistic about weddings that is deeply alarming: fewer and fewer people are tying the knot, and those who do are getting married later in life. Blogs and op-eds abound on the Internet with reasons to wait to get married, not to get married, and how to know you are ready for marriage. All of the articles agree that you should wait to marry until late 20s, most suggest waiting until your 30s.

There is not a magic age for getting married; it is a decision that necessitates wise counsel and prayer. However, after reading several articles against marriage, I’ve noticed that there are four common myths about marriage that may be swaying Christian singles away from marriage for unbiblical reasons. In full disclosure, I admit that I was a young bride. My husband and I were both 21 when we got married. However, I’d like to know when our culture suddenly decided that young adults (yes—adults) are incapable of making significant and/or important decisions?

Myth 1: There is no significant difference between unmarried Christian couples and unmarried non-Christian couples.

This is a foundational myth, a presuppositional myth—meaning it’s something many people believe without actually recognizing it. Being a Christian couple goes beyond commonly shared beliefs. Christ’s salvation transforms us to new life in Him, which has a deep impact on who we are as well as what we do. One specific difference is that Christians believe that sexual intimacy is reserved only for the marriage relationship.

While the world postpones marriage for several reasons, they do not postpone becoming intimate with each other.

Thus, when non-Christian blogs cite reasons why couples should postpone marriage, it is always couched within the belief that sexual intimacy acceptable—even preferable!—within the couple’s relationship. This difference is significant because as Christian couples may consider marriage according to the world’s myths, they neglect to consider that non-Christian couples are dissimilar to them at their very core. Christian couples must always recognize that there is a foundational difference between them and the world, which will effect what they believe and how they act out those beliefs. Thus Christian couples recognize that because sexual intimacy is designed to take place only within a marriage relationship, they should choose to wait or cease from sexual activity until then (regardless of sexual history). To put it bluntly, from the start, the world plays according to a different set of rules—rules that simply do not work when applied to Christian relationships.

Myth 2: You have to fully know yourself before you get married.

Embedded in this myth is the belief that, as you age, you transform into an entirely different person and you must not get married until you discover your true identity. The first problem with this view of marriage is that it perpetuates the idea that marriage is profoundly about yourself. Your spouse is only useful so long as he helps enhance who you believe you are as a person.

Ultimately—and unbiblically—it teaches that marriage is founded on a self-serving love rather than self-sacrificial love.

The second problem with this myth about marriage is that the concept of “knowing yourself” is completely subjective. Many young adults today seem to be under the belief that there is a secret person living inside of them, and if they live long enough, experience enough, and travel enough, then this “inner person” will blossom and they will finally “know who they are.”

The truth is we are always changing. Life changes us! In many ways, I’m not the same woman I was at 21 and I wouldn’t want to be. And I hope I’m not the same person at 50 that I am now at 28. My husband isn’t the same person either. I’m glad our marriage isn’t exactly like it was seven years ago. It has matured. It has deepened. It has grown. While it isn’t easy, the process of growing up and maturing is important and should happen, and there is definitely a place for growing and maturing as a single adult. What’s important to realize is that you will never stop growing as a person, single or married. Choosing to live a biblically examined life rather than just experiencing life is what will help prepare you for marriage.

Myth 3: You need to achieve financial stability before getting married.

This myth may sound responsible, and to a certain extent I agree with it. Both you and your spouse need to be mature and responsible enough to be able to hold down jobs, pay bills, and be able to generally live like adults. However, at its core I believe this myth is teaching Christian single women to focus on the wrong thing when considering a potential spouse. Don’t look past the person in order to see their annual income first, because current income is not a reflection of a person’s work ethic or future income.

There is a significant difference between someone who is lazy and isn’t making much money versus someone who is working to prepare himself to be a better provider.

A man with a poor work ethic often isn’t financially stable, so it is a valid red flag for a relationship. What’s more, poor work ethic transfers over more often than not into poor spiritual leadership. A Christ-honoring man with a good work ethic may not be at the peak of his financial career, but he may be trusted to protect and provide as you grow as a couple.

Working to build a life will be full of challenges and difficulties, but it also provides you as a couple the opportunity to learn and grow a new life together. The vulnerability shared during the years of a “rice and beans” budgets allows a closeness and appreciation in your marriage that has the potential to help strengthen you as a couple. In other words, just because you are not making your dream salary yet doesn’t mean you have to stay single until you do.

Myth 4: You won’t have as much fun after you’re tied down.


I wish this one was a joke, but I’ve actually heard it many times. Like I mentioned in the first myth, the world plays according to a different set of rules when it comes to relationships. Because most non-Christian couples have a different foundation upon which marriage is built, they portray marriage as a life of drudgery, responsibility, mortgages, and lame movie nights. I’ve heard several Christian singles spout off lines like, “I want to do this now because I can’t when I get married” to which I often want to reply, “why couldn’t you do that if you were married?”

After fleshing this myth out more, I believe it’s ultimately a lie of Satan attempting to lure strong Christian singles into a delayed period of adolescent living.

Realistically, there are few activities you cannot do married that you can do while single. However, getting married does require a spiritual/mental/emotional maturity that some singles don’t want to face yet. Claiming, “I need to do ‘X’ while still single” sounds much less immature than “I’d rather live like a adolescent a little longer.” In no way am I suggesting that all young adult Christian couples think this way, but I do believe all Christian young adults ought consider carefully the reasons behind a decision to delay marriage.

The world says your 20s are for making mistakes and having a lot of fun while you do it and then you “grow up” and get married. Christ calls us to more than that. Abundant life in Christ is not achieved through the world’s “live and learn” mantra. The world says marriage is just a serious commitment between two people who are serious adults. Scripture teaches that marriage is about two people—two sinful, still maturing people—who by God’s grace get to live their lives in Christ together. It’s not always (although sometimes can be) the glamorous, high action packed picture that Hollywood or the storybooks portray. It’s something much more beautiful, fulfilling, and real. It’s life. It’s fun.

There are many reasons why a couple should decide not to get married, or wait to get married. Marriage was created and blessed by God and should never be taken lightly. It’s a beautiful image of Christ’s relationship with us, His Bride, the Church. It’s mysterious and challenging, yet infinitely rewarding. There are plenty of biblical reasons why you may need to delay or postpone getting married, but don’t let the world’s inaccurate myths of marriage keep you from the blessings God may have intended for you to receive.

NOTE: This article was originally published at Biblical Woman.

Article 12: The Future of AI

We affirm that AI will continue to be developed in ways that we cannot currently imagine or understand, including AI that will far surpass many human abilities. God alone has the power to create life, and no future advancements in AI will usurp Him as the Creator of life. The church has a unique role in proclaiming human dignity for all and calling for the humane use of AI in all aspects of society.

We deny that AI will make us more or less human, or that AI will ever obtain a coequal level of worth, dignity, or value to image-bearers. Future advancements in AI will not ultimately fulfill our longings for a perfect world. While we are not able to comprehend or know the future, we do not fear what is to come because we know that God is omniscient and that nothing we create will be able to thwart His redemptive plan for creation or to supplant humanity as His image-bearers.

Genesis 1; Isaiah 42:8; Romans 1:20-21; 5:2; Ephesians 1:4-6; 2 Timothy 1:7-9; Revelation 5:9-10

Article 11: Public Policy

We affirm that the fundamental purposes of government are to protect human beings from harm, punish those who do evil, uphold civil liberties, and to commend those who do good. The public has a role in shaping and crafting policies concerning the use of AI in society, and these decisions should not be left to those who develop these technologies or to governments to set norms.

We deny that AI should be used by governments, corporations, or any entity to infringe upon God-given human rights. AI, even in a highly advanced state, should never be delegated the governing authority that has been granted by an all-sovereign God to human beings alone. 

Romans 13:1-7; Acts 10:35; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 10: War

We affirm that the use of AI in warfare should be governed by love of neighbor and the principles of just war. The use of AI may mitigate the loss of human life, provide greater protection of non-combatants, and inform better policymaking. Any lethal action conducted or substantially enabled by AI must employ 5 human oversight or review. All defense-related AI applications, such as underlying data and decision-making processes, must be subject to continual review by legitimate authorities. When these systems are deployed, human agents bear full moral responsibility for any actions taken by the system.

We deny that human agency or moral culpability in war can be delegated to AI. No nation or group has the right to use AI to carry out genocide, terrorism, torture, or other war crimes.

Genesis 4:10; Isaiah 1:16-17; Psalm 37:28; Matthew 5:44; 22:37-39; Romans 13:4

Article 9: Security

We affirm that AI has legitimate applications in policing, intelligence, surveillance, investigation, and other uses supporting the government’s responsibility to respect human rights, to protect and preserve human life, and to pursue justice in a flourishing society.

We deny that AI should be employed for safety and security applications in ways that seek to dehumanize, depersonalize, or harm our fellow human beings. We condemn the use of AI to suppress free expression or other basic human rights granted by God to all human beings.

Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 8: Data & Privacy

We affirm that privacy and personal property are intertwined individual rights and choices that should not be violated by governments, corporations, nation-states, and other groups, even in the pursuit of the common good. While God knows all things, it is neither wise nor obligatory to have every detail of one’s life open to society.

We deny the manipulative and coercive uses of data and AI in ways that are inconsistent with the love of God and love of neighbor. Data collection practices should conform to ethical guidelines that uphold the dignity of all people. We further deny that consent, even informed consent, although requisite, is the only necessary ethical standard for the collection, manipulation, or exploitation of personal data—individually or in the aggregate. AI should not be employed in ways that distort truth through the use of generative applications. Data should not be mishandled, misused, or abused for sinful purposes to reinforce bias, strengthen the powerful, or demean the weak.

Exodus 20:15, Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 40:13-14; Matthew 10:16 Galatians 6:2; Hebrews 4:12-13; 1 John 1:7 

Article 7: Work

We affirm that work is part of God’s plan for human beings participating in the cultivation and stewardship of creation. The divine pattern is one of labor and rest in healthy proportion to each other. Our view of work should not be confined to commercial activity; it must also include the many ways that human beings serve each other through their efforts. AI can be used in ways that aid our work or allow us to make fuller use of our gifts. The church has a Spirit-empowered responsibility to help care for those who lose jobs and to encourage individuals, communities, employers, and governments to find ways to invest in the development of human beings and continue making vocational contributions to our lives together.

We deny that human worth and dignity is reducible to an individual’s economic contributions to society alone. Humanity should not use AI and other technological innovations as a reason to move toward lives of pure leisure even if greater social wealth creates such possibilities.

Genesis 1:27; 2:5; 2:15; Isaiah 65:21-24; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-16

Article 6: Sexuality

We affirm the goodness of God’s design for human sexuality which prescribes the sexual union to be an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage.

We deny that the pursuit of sexual pleasure is a justification for the development or use of AI, and we condemn the objectification of humans that results from employing AI for sexual purposes. AI should not intrude upon or substitute for the biblical expression of sexuality between a husband and wife according to God’s design for human marriage.

Genesis 1:26-29; 2:18-25; Matthew 5:27-30; 1 Thess 4:3-4

Article 5: Bias

We affirm that, as a tool created by humans, AI will be inherently subject to bias and that these biases must be accounted for, minimized, or removed through continual human oversight and discretion. AI should be designed and used in such ways that treat all human beings as having equal worth and dignity. AI should be utilized as a tool to identify and eliminate bias inherent in human decision-making.

We deny that AI should be designed or used in ways that violate the fundamental principle of human dignity for all people. Neither should AI be used in ways that reinforce or further any ideology or agenda, seeking to subjugate human autonomy under the power of the state.

Micah 6:8; John 13:34; Galatians 3:28-29; 5:13-14; Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 12:10

Article 4: Medicine

We affirm that AI-related advances in medical technologies are expressions of God’s common grace through and for people created in His image and that these advances will increase our capacity to provide enhanced medical diagnostics and therapeutic interventions as we seek to care for all people. These advances should be guided by basic principles of medical ethics, including beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice, which are all consistent with the biblical principle of loving our neighbor.

We deny that death and disease—effects of the Fall—can ultimately be eradicated apart from Jesus Christ. Utilitarian applications regarding healthcare distribution should not override the dignity of human life. Fur- 3 thermore, we reject the materialist and consequentialist worldview that understands medical applications of AI as a means of improving, changing, or completing human beings.

Matthew 5:45; John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:4

Article 3: Relationship of AI & Humanity

We affirm the use of AI to inform and aid human reasoning and moral decision-making because it is a tool that excels at processing data and making determinations, which often mimics or exceeds human ability. While AI excels in data-based computation, technology is incapable of possessing the capacity for moral agency or responsibility.

We deny that humans can or should cede our moral accountability or responsibilities to any form of AI that will ever be created. Only humanity will be judged by God on the basis of our actions and that of the tools we create. While technology can be created with a moral use in view, it is not a moral agent. Humans alone bear the responsibility for moral decision making.

Romans 2:6-8; Galatians 5:19-21; 2 Peter 1:5-8; 1 John 2:1

Article 2: AI as Technology

We affirm that the development of AI is a demonstration of the unique creative abilities of human beings. When AI is employed in accordance with God’s moral will, it is an example of man’s obedience to the divine command to steward creation and to honor Him. We believe in innovation for the glory of God, the sake of human flourishing, and the love of neighbor. While we acknowledge the reality of the Fall and its consequences on human nature and human innovation, technology can be used in society to uphold human dignity. As a part of our God-given creative nature, human beings should develop and harness technology in ways that lead to greater flourishing and the alleviation of human suffering.

We deny that the use of AI is morally neutral. It is not worthy of man’s hope, worship, or love. Since the Lord Jesus alone can atone for sin and reconcile humanity to its Creator, technology such as AI cannot fulfill humanity’s ultimate needs. We further deny the goodness and benefit of any application of AI that devalues or degrades the dignity and worth of another human being. 

Genesis 2:25; Exodus 20:3; 31:1-11; Proverbs 16:4; Matthew 22:37-40; Romans 3:23

Article 1: Image of God

We affirm that God created each human being in His image with intrinsic and equal worth, dignity, and moral agency, distinct from all creation, and that humanity’s creativity is intended to reflect God’s creative pattern.

We deny that any part of creation, including any form of technology, should ever be used to usurp or subvert the dominion and stewardship which has been entrusted solely to humanity by God; nor should technology be assigned a level of human identity, worth, dignity, or moral agency.

Genesis 1:26-28; 5:1-2; Isaiah 43:6-7; Jeremiah 1:5; John 13:34; Colossians 1:16; 3:10; Ephesians 4:24